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The Aegis
Harford County

Elementary school in Fallston experiencing largest COVID-19 school outbreak in Maryland

Youth’s Benefit Elementary School in Fallston is currently experiencing the largest COVID-19 outbreak of any school in Maryland, according to data from the Maryland Department of Health.

As of Wednesday, Youth’s Benefit had reported 110 cases of COVID-19; it is the only public school in the state to report an outbreak of more than 100 cases.

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School officials sent a letter and reached parents by phone on Nov. 30 alerting them that the state health department identified Youth’s Benefit Elementary School as having a schoolwide COVID-19 outbreak. Parents were notified again on Dec. 3, Dec. 10 and Monday about steps being taken to prevent further transmission of COVID-19 within the school community.

After-school activities were and remain canceled as were field trips. Strategies to limit movement between classrooms were implemented, tables in communal spaces were spread out, masking is being enforced during recess, and the school switched to exclusively brown bag lunches.

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But, the school— which has an official enrollment of 1,103 students— remains open and teaching continues in person.

“HCPS’ goal has been, and continues to be, to keep our schools open for in-person instruction,” said Jillian Lader, spokesperson for Harford County Public Schools.

The school plans to hold another COVID-19 testing clinic on Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to noon.

Based on the data published by the Maryland Department of Health on Wednesday today, 20 schools in Harford County have reported COVID-19 outbreaks and 285 cases have been reported district-wide.

“All HCPS contacts are also encouraged that if they are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, they speak with their health care provider about being vaccinated,” Lader said.


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